ASLO 2004 Summer Meeting Special Sessions

SS02: Indicators of Environmental Condition and Change Along The Freshwater-Marine Continuum
Organizers: Hans Paerl, UNC-CH Institute of Marine Sciences (, Ray Torres, University of South Carolina ( and Denice Heller Wardrop, Penn State University Wetlands Center (

The freshwater-marine continuum comprising the coastal zone supports well over half the world's human population and continues to be the focus on intense urbanization, agricultural and industrial development. It is also a region strongly affected by climate change, including global warming, sea level rise and elevated tropical storm and hurricane activity. There is an ever-growing need for development and deployment of physical, chemical and biological indicators of environmental condition and change. In particular, indicators that can span the broad spatial and temporal ranges characterizing this continuum are needed. Furthermore, indicators that can couple ecosystem structure to function and are capable of being linked to evolving remote sensing technologies will facilitate "scaling up" assessments of ecological condition and change. Contributions covering these research and management needs in geographically- and climatically-diverse regions are welcomed.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: indicators, coastal, aquatic, environmental condition, climate

SS03: The State of Wetland Science
Organizers: K. Ramesh Reddy, University of Florida ( and Amy Parker, University of Georgia (

The objective of this session is to review current state of wetland science with a focus on select topics including hydrology, vegetation, biogeochemistry, and ecological issues as related to water quality, greenhouse gases, and carbon sequestration.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: hydrology, water quality, biogeochemistry, vegetation

SS04: The Interacting Effects of Temperature and Resources on Composition, Structure and Function of Aquatic Biota
Organizer: Edward Hall, University of Minnesota (

Temperature and resources, two key environmental parameters that affect all living systems, have traditionally been evaluated in isolation of each other. It has become evident, however, that these variables can interact with one another to affect the structure, composition and function of biotic communities in ways that cannot be predicted by independently evaluating either variable. Basic research that addresses how biological communities will respond to simultaneous forcing of temperature and resources is especially pertinent in the face of rapid anthropogenic climate change and eutrophication of the world's aquatic systems. Research that simultaneously evaluates changes in temperature and resource interactions will allow for increased predictability of how aquatic biota will respond to concurrent shifts in these environmental variables. In this special session, submissions are encouraged of any work that addresses the response of aquatic biota to simultaneous changes in both temperature and resources. Research of all scales, from large global models of plankton dynamics using marine data sets to chemostat or flask experiments that examine more explicitly the biochemical and physiological responses of the biota, is appropriate.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: co-limitation, temperature, resource, substrate, interactions

SS05: The Educational Value of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems
Organizers: Janet W. Campbell, University of New Hampshire (, Amy Holt Cline, University of New Hampshire ( and Tom Shyka, Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (

Coastal ocean observing systems are being developed throughout the world as part of an international movement to create the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). Many of the observatories provide real-time data delivered over the Internet, as well as access to historical archives. A number of creative sites have map servers that enable investigators to map data layers as if using a geographic information system. In this session, presentations are encouraged from those who have utilized coastal ocean observing data in the classroom and can share their experiences. This session also invites students who have developed projects involving the use of coastal observatory data. This will include both oral talks and student posters, and participants will conduct a discussion as part of this session. The goal is to engage educators and scientists to collaborate on future educational outreach efforts related to the international network of coastal observing systems.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: coastal, education, observing system data

SS06: Science for Wetland Policy
Organizer: R. Jan Stevenson, Michigan State University (

Design and intent of research can be easily adapted to provide more valuable information for solving environmental problems than researchers have done in the past. This session will present the need for scientific information by regulators to solve problems with wetlands and research that has been done to provide that information.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: wetlands, assessment, indicators, policy, management

SS07: New Methods in Microzooplankton Ecology
Organizers: George McManus, University of Connecticut ( and Peter Verity, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (

Progress in microzooplankton ecology has long been hampered by limits in sampling, preserving, identifying, and cultivating microzooplankton. Recently, the advent of molecular methods, in situ imaging, and various other techniques has raised hopes that these barriers can be overcome. This session will focus on both recent advances in specific techniques and also efforts to integrate the different methods.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: ciliates, dinoflagellates, microzooplankton, molecular methods, imaging

SS08: Coastal Development: Connecting Research with Practical Application in Local Communities
Organizer: Dwayne Porter, University of South Carolina (, Rick DeVoe, South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium ( and Angela Halfacre, University of Charleston (

Scientific journals and conferences provide researchers with excellent means of communicating to their peers. Applied, ecological research potentially provides sound scientific foundations for policymakers and gives the public a better understanding of the reasons for regulations. Too often, scientists limit their communication to their peers, and, as a consequence, the general public is often bypassed, which diminishes the impact of applied research findings on changing natural resources policies and modifying public opinion. In our era of tight budgets, it is vital that the public support and understand the usefulness of taxpayer-funded research. Failure to reach out to the public not only reduces public understanding of the natural world, but also will reduce support for funding natural resources studies. To increase public understanding and support, education and public outreach efforts should be integral to any publicly funded research activity.

Two important long-term NOAA-supported research projects in the Southeast, 1) the Urbanization and Southeastern Estuarine Systems (USES), and 2) the Land Use - Coastal Ecosystems Study (LU-CES), are multidisciplinary studies examining the impacts of coastal development on estuaries along the southeast United States coast. Project findings pinpoint the link between land use changes and effects on estuaries. Careful and clear explanation of these complex, scientific findings is assisting local residents to make better development decisions in their communities. Thus, USES and LU-CES project scientists have focused on the need to inform the local communities about the findings of their research. USES and LU-CES projects are addressing regionally significant issues associated with coastal development at locally relevant scales and connecting research findings with practical application in local communities.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: urbanization, southeast, estuaries, development

SS09: Recovery of Shallow-Water Sediment Systems After Disturbance
Organizers: Kristina Sundback, Goteborg University, (, Carolyn Currin, NOAA National Ocean Service, Beaufort ( and Graham Underwood, Essex University (

The rate of recovery (resilience) is a key component of ecological stability. Shallow-water illuminated sediments are, because of the presence of primary producers, highly productive areas that also play a significant role in the ecology of adjacent habitats and function as buffer zones between terrestrial and aquatic systems. However, these shallow water environments are constantly exposed to anthropogenic environmental changes, related to nutrient loading, pollution and physical disturbances. Although the impact of such disturbances is well studied today, our knowledge of the recovery of these areas after both acute and chronic perturbations is still limited. In this session, the organizers would like to invite studies on the recovery of shallow-water soft bottom systems, as well as identification of key mechanisms involved in the recovery process. Research areas of interest include both field and experimental work that consider the recovery of illuminated soft sediments on different spatial and temporal scales in both marine and freshwater habitats.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: recovery, disturbance, sediments, shallow-water

SS10: Biogeochemical Cycles and Macroecology in Coastal Wetlands
Organizers: Yoko Furukawa, Naval Research Laboratory (, Erik Kristensen, University of Southern Denmark ( and Joel Kostka, Florida State University (

Coastal wetlands are among the most important, but also threatened, aquatic ecosystems. Owing to their high primary productivity, they not only serve as natural nurseries for fish and shellfish, but also maintain the water quality of estuaries and other coastal environments by acting as filters for nutrients and contaminants. However, overloading of anthropogenic nutrients and land reclamation for agri- and aquacultural purposes are damaging and promoting the loss of wetland areas. A comprehensive understanding of the linkages between biogeochemical and macroecological processes in wetlands is critical to the protection and reestablishment of wetlands and the natural resources they provide.

Biogeochemical cycles in wetlands, including microbial remineralization of nutrients and degradation of contaminants, are closely coupled to the macroecology. Macrophytes and macrofauna are central to the ecological elemental cycles by modifying microbial habitats and thereby affecting the rates and magnitudes of chemical mass transfer. They facilitate the transport of chemicals between wetland compartments by penetrating the substratum, creating 3-dimensional mosaics of biogenic structures (burrows and roots). They support diverse microbial communities and biogeochemical processes in the sediment environment by providing adequate physical and chemical conditions. Conversely, microbial communities provide macrophytes and macrofauna with essential nutrients via remineralization processes and food sources via generation of nutritious microbial biomass.

This session intends to bring together scientists with interest in the study of chemical mass transfer, microbial ecology, sediment biogeochemistry, and/or macroecology in coastal wetlands. The goal is to provide a forum to acknowledge and explore the current and future directions for interdisciplinary and/or interfacial studies that investigate wetlands using combinations of chemical, microbial, zoological, botanical and ecological tools.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: wetlands, biogeochemical cycles, macroecology, microbial diagenesis

SS11: Cycling and Impact of Dissolved Organic Matter in Rivers, Lakes and Estuaries: Influence of Climate and Landscape
Organizers: Colin Stedmon, National Environmental Institute, Denmark (, Stiig Markager, National Environmental Institute, Denmark ( and Morten Søndergaard, Freshwater Biological Laboratory, Copenhagen University, Denmark (

Dissolved organic matter can regulate aquatic ecosystems through its properties as an energy and nutrient resource, light absorber and metal complexing agent. Its properties vary depending on the intensity of supply and its characteristics. It is therefore important to further our understanding of the processes that alter these two factors. Research has shown that changes in both climate as well as landscape, can lead to fluctuations in the production of DOM in surface waters and soils. Variations in the strength of different sources of DOM can also lead to considerable changes in its properties, effects and role in aquatic environments. In addition, exposure to microbial and photochemical degradation processes act to continually transform DOM during its passage from land to sea. The focus of this session will be on presenting recent results from the study of the origin, fate, and influence of DOM in coastal and inland ecosystems.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: DOM, cycling, export, characteristics

SS12: Reconstruction of Marginal Marine Environments Using the Sediment Record
Organizers: Carol Pride, Savannah State University (, Beth Christensen, Georgia State University ( and Deborah Freile, Berry College (

Human activity has a greater impact on marginal marine environments than other regions of the ocean, yet we do not know the full extent of anthropogenic influence. Comparison of historical documentation of agricultural practices, development, industrial activity, and climatic variations with sediment records provides a means for recognizing which human activities and natural forces leave lasting impressions in estuarine, coastal and shelf sediments. Reconstructions from longer records provide clues to conditions prior to European colonization and a glimpse at natural variability.

Due to the dynamic nature of marginal marine environments, the regions with the greatest potential for recording human impacts are also some of the most difficult in which to find a well-preserved and undisturbed sedimentary record. For this reason, abstracts focusing on techniques as well as results from marginal marine paleoenvironmental reconstructions using sedimentological, paleontological, geochemical, or isotopic records are welcomed.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: paleoenvironmental, sediment, shelf, estuarine, paleontology

SS13: Recent Advances in Organic Phosphorus Investigations: Linking Landscapes
Organizers: Susan Newman, South Florida Water Management District ( and Robert Heath, Kent State University (

This session will focus on organic P cycling in lakes and wetlands. While organic P cycling was studied extensively in lakes 25 to 30 years ago, there have been recent advances in methodology and research emphasis warranting a session dedicated to this topic. The same is true of soil and sediment organic P chemistry; we now have methods that may provide a quantitative understanding of specific P compounds, compared to the past where we relied heavily on operational definitions. Wetlands are frequently an interface between aquatic and terrestrial systems and thus information from both these environments are relied upon to move this science forward.

Another more recent advance in the field of organic P cycling is the greater association between organic P cycling and resource allocation strategies. The use of organic P to meet nutritional requirements are being linked with C and N acquisition and turnover. In fact, some of the old single element paradigms associated with organic P cycling have been questioned.

With this special session we will explore the links between aquatic, wetland and terrestrial ecosystems to build a greater understanding of organic P cycling across the landscape. Using this multi-ecosystem approach we hope to encourage discussion that will provide insights into the influence of microbial processes on trophic dynamics, interactions among nutrient cycles, and organic P transport. Examining organic P at process levels and placing this in context with landscape transformations and dependencies will benefit those working with organic P cycling in aquatic and wetland ecosystems and also will be of interest to those investigating the land margin interface.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: organic phosphorus, phosphorus methodology, ecosystem comparisons, organic phosphorus transport, bioavailability

SS14: Making Connections in Marine Science Research and Guided Inquiry: Undergraduate, Pre-College, and Teacher Programs
Organizers: Susan Libes, Coastal Carolina University ( and Robert Young, Coastal Carolina University (

This session will focus on current trends in the integration of research with undergraduate, pre-college, and teacher activities, and on creative programs in which guided inquiry and data are used in the classroom. This would be an effective forum for localized programs as well as large-scale regional efforts, such as the Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE). The session will include one or two invited speakers representing larger national initiatives, but emphasis will be placed on hands-on programs that create relationships between researchers and the students and teachers in their school, community, or region.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: undergraduate, teacher, pre-college, inquiry-based, integrating research

SS15: Do Invertebrate Predators Have Leading Roles or Bit Parts in Plankton Communities?
Organizers: Howard Riessen, SUNY College at Buffalo (, Charles Ramcharan, Laurentian University (

Since the 1960's predation has been recognized as a potent force in the zooplankton communities of ponds, lakes, and oceans. The standard model that has developed for these systems identifies two distinct categories of predators: planktivorous fish (visual predators, that select larger, more visible zooplankton) and carnivorous invertebrates (tactile predators, that select smaller, more easily handled individuals). While the former are universally regarded as major ecological players, the role of invertebrate predators is not as well understood. This is largely due to the great variation in size, feeding behavior, and seasonal abundances in this taxonomically diverse group of predators. This special session will examine the roles played by planktonic invertebrate predators, including their abilities to shape plankton communities, influence zooplankton population dynamics and mold the forces of natural selection on prey species. Among the specific questions to be addressed are: (1) What are the relative impacts of fish vs. invertebrate predators in different aquatic systems? (2) How do the effects of invertebrate planktivores vary with ecosystem size, from temporary pools to small lakes to large lakes to oceans? (3) How do differences in body size and feeding behavior among different types of invertebrate predators influence their impacts in plankton communities?

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: zooplankton, predation, invertebrate predators

SS16: Permeable Sediments - Physics, Biology and Geochemistry
Organizer: Richard Jahnke, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (

Furthering our understanding of the physical dynamics, chemistry and biology of permeable sediments is an important challenge for coastal scientists. Because muds and permeable sediments are fundamentally different, most information generated by studying muds is not directly applicable to permeable sediments, yet such sediments occur abundantly on continental shelves, on coastal beaches, in estuaries and in rivers worldwide. The geochemistry of fine-grained sediments is principally controlled by the gravitational settling of reactive particles from the water column, diagenetic reactions within the sediments, and molecular diffusive transport of solutes in the pore waters. Permeable sediments, however, may act more like fluidized bed reactors where advective transport supplies particulate and dissolved substrates and reactants at accelerated rates and removes potentially inhibitory end products. This system can support unexpectedly high biogeochemical reaction rates even at very low substrate concentrations. Additionally, most existing techniques for estimating reaction rates and benthic fluxes were developed for fine-grained sediments and generally will not yield accurate results in permeable sediments. The development of strategies and new techniques for quantifying fluxes in permeable sediments therefore also represents a major challenge. This session will highlight recent technological and intellectual advances in the study of the biology, chemistry and physical exchange processes in permeable sediments.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: permeable sediments, advective porewater exchange, submarine groundwater discharge

SS18: Functional Differences in Zooplankton
Organizer: Ulrich Sommer, Institut fuer Meereskunde, University Kiel (

This session is intended to discuss the functional differences between major zooplankton groups and their community and ecosystem consequences. In many ecosystem models, zooplankton are treated as one unit or are differentiated only by size (micro- vs. mesozooplankton). However, even within size classes there are functional differentiations that have potentially strong impacts on top-down effects (predation on phytoplankton, bacteria and protozoa), bottom-up effects (trophic transfer to fish) and nutrient cycling.

Examples are:
· calanoid copepods: slow reproduction, feeding on large particles, good fish food (but efficient escape), low tissue P-content
· cladocerans: fast reproduction, feeding on small to medium particles, good fish food, poor escape, high tissue P-content
· appendicularians: fast reproduction, feeding on small food particles, poor fish food, high tissue P-content

Talks comparing marine and freshwater communities are especially welcome.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: zooplankton, functional group, food web

SS19: Niche Determination by Humic Substances in Freshwaters
Organizers: Christian E.W. Steinberg, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (, Lars Tranvik, University of Uppsala, Sweden (, Jussi Kukkonen, University of Joensuu, Finland (

Two paradigms are outdated: (1) humic substances (HS) are not taken up by aquatic organisms; (2) HS are inert in aquatic systems, except for the release of reactive oxygen species after irradiation. HS-like substances, such as caffeic acid oxidation products, are taken up by all aquatic organisms studied so far. Furthermore, HS have direct effects on aquatic plants and animals. The effects may be categorized as unspecific, such as expression of heat shock proteins (hsp) and modulation of biotransformation enzymes, and specific, such as inhibition of photosynthetic oxygen release in plants. Basic eco-toxicological requirements are fulfilled: several mechanisms apply to a variety of aquatic organisms, dose-response relationships and quantitative structure effect relationships may be established where applicable. HS are natural xenobiotics that exert a chemical stress and, thus, are able to structure aquatic guilds by various modes of action.

Keywords for Abstract Submissions: humic substances, natural xenobiotics, niche determination, inhibition of photosynthesis


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